The Marriage and Family Therapy Program

The Marriage and Family Program prepares students to work with individuals, couples, and families in a variety of clinical settings. The in-person program requires 51 semester hours and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)The deadline for admission into the fall 2024 cohort is February 1, 2024.  Applications will open in early fall 2024 for fall 2025 admissions to the MFT Masters of Arts Program.  

Please Welcome our New MFT Faculty Member, Dr. Tatjana Farley!

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Tatjana Farley as our newest MFT Faculty member who will serve as the Field Experience Coordinator. Dr. Farley’s favorite part about being a faculty member at Appalachian State is the community of colleagues and students that make her job enjoyable. As an MFT educator, her hopes are to help train the next generation of MFT's to continue to be compassionate, open, and well rounded in a way that they can show up for, challenge, and advocate for their clients. As one of the newer disciplines in the mental health field, Dr. Farley also hopes to contribute to the culture and profession of MFT by training students who will speak about, advocate for, and proudly represent our identity as MFT's. Her research focuses on anger and aggression, contextualizing them through a developmental trauma framework. She is interested in how anger and aggression connect youth to systems such as foster care and juvenile detention, and her hopes are to give anger and aggression a new reputation, to provide context for understanding them as a means of communication rather than catalysts for opposition or defiance.

MFT Alum Recognized for Autism Family Research

App State MFT alum and current Virginia Tech MFT doctoral student, Jim Tillet, is being recognized for his research on families and autism. He hopes to create more space for people with autism in the world, rather than hoping that they fit into societal expectations. Read more about Jim Tillet's research. Congratulations, Jim! 

Two MFT Alumnae Receive National Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Chélynn Randolph and Dr. Tatjana Farley (class of 2018) for being recipients of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Research Award. Both completed their Ph.D. respectively from Florida State University this spring. Dr. Randolph will join the faculty at the University of Colorado-Denver and Dr. Farley will serve as a lecturer in the App State MFT program. Read more about this prestigous accomplishment

Sage Miller Awarded Provost Fellowship

MFT student, Sage Miller, was awarded the Provost Fellowship. He was recognized at the Graduate School Awards. Read more about the award. Congratulations, Sage! 

Students and Faculty Presented at NCAMFT Conference

MFT students and faculty presented at the North Carolina Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (NCAMFT) annual conference. Former faculty, Dr. Laura Gambrel and student Jane Thibodeau presented a breakout session titled Embodied Healing through Relational Mindfulness: Systemic, Contemplative, and Experiential Approaches to Cultivating Connection.  Faculty member, Dr. Kristen Benson and student Lexie Bruhn presented a workshop titled Evolving Ethics for Systemic Therapists: Evolving Awareness and Evolving Practice. The NCAMFT conference took place in Charlotte, NC March 17-19, 2022.

MFT Faculty Presenting at the 2023 IRSFT Annual Conference

MFT Faculty presented at the 2023 Intervention Research in Systemic Family Therapy Annual Conference in September. Dr. Kristen Benson presented on her recent research titled Anti-Trans Legislative Discourse and Family Relationships. Dr. Tatjana Farley presented a poster on her research titled Social Problems, Aggression, and Parent-Child Conflict: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model.

MFT Program Information Session

If you're a prospective student, we invite you to attend our MFT Program Info Session on January 25th from 12-1pm! The session will guide you through our curriculum, classroom experience, admissions, alumni connections and professional development opportunities. Click on the following link to register:

Study Abroad in Berlin

Dr. Kristen Benson traveled with graduate students for a study abroad experience to Berlin, Germany . The course was titled Systemic Change: Berlin's History and Current Social Policies, and focused on systemic approaches to preventing discrimination by examining the historical treatment of LGBTQ+ people in Germany. 

MFT Program now offering GRE Waiver

In our effort to make graduate education more accessible, the MFT Program is offering the option for applicants to waive the GRE exam for the Fall 2023 admissions cycle. Applicants who would like to be considered for the GRE waiver must meet the following requirments: a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND at least two reference letters from professors from whom the applicant has taken at least one course; OR five or more years of professional human services or famly systems-related work experience. 

MFT Graduates LCAS Eligible

Marriage and Family Therapy students who complete the requirements for the Addictions Counseling Certificate and complete an internship working with addition and recovery with a credentialed supervisor are now eligible to be certified as a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS). Appalachian State University MFT/Addictions Counseling Certificate is now recognized as Criteria C pre-approved substance abuse/addictions Master’s degrees, which is an accelerated path to LCAS certification. 

AAMFT Statement on MFT Responsibility to Counter Racism

The MFT Program at Appalachian State endorses the AAMFT statement regarding our responsibility to actively counter racism. We reject systemic racism and work to counter white supremist ideologies. We continue to be reflective and commit to ongoing work to improve our accountability to inclusively train MFTs. Read the entire AAMFT Statement on MFT Responsibility to Counter Racism

AAMFT Statement on Anti-Transgender Legislation

The MFT Program at Appalachian State endorses the AAMFT statement opposing anti-trangender legislation. Many of these legislate efforts would enact laws that violate the AAMFT Code of Ethics and counter evidence-based clinical best practices for work with transgender clients and their families. Read the entire AAMFT Statement on Anti-Transgender Legislation

Dr. Jon Winek Appointed to NC LMFT Board

Dr. Jon Winek was appointed by Govenor Roy Cooper to serve on the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board through September 2023. Dr. Winek will work with other LMFTB members to review and approve license applications, enforce ethical standards, and attend to regulatory standards. 

Dr. Kristen Benson Earns NCAMFT Training Award

Dr. Kristen Benson, MFT Program Director, was presented the 2022 NCAMFT Training Award. Learn more at